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Pine Island Earth Friends urge islanders to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover

May 23, 2012
By DIANE MAHER (Pine Island Earth Friends) , Pine Island Eagle

In the world of trash there are basically only two kinds of glass recyclable and non-recyclable.

Recyclable is container glass, made to hold food and drink. This glass can be blue, green, and brown due to varying amounts of iron, chromium, and copper or clear with none; but essentially contains no other chemicals. Under ideal conditions this old glass becomes new glass endlessly if it is not contaminated and there is a cost effective market for it.

When you recycle this glass:

1. Whole is better than broken!

2. Rinse them out!

3. Labels are fine.

4. Do not try to recycle any other kind of glass!

Currently, Lee County Waste Management is working with a 40- location, nationwide company, Strategic Materials in Sarasota to recycle glass. For a period of time they had been storing it until a solution was found. What portion becomes new containers is unclear. At least some will be downcycled into products of lesser quality such as fiberglass, ceramic tile, landscaping "mulch," and countertops. This is especially true if in pieces known as "cullet" which is hard to evaluate for content. It is safer than processing for new bottles if contaminated with "bad glass."

Nonrecyclable is pretty much everything else. Why? Because of the other contents, which allow for high heat, greater impact, and other attractive and useful features, make re-melting dangerous to people and equipment even if possible.

Ovenware-glass and ceramic, tableware and drinking glasses, plate glass, and mirrors cannot be recycled! Put it in the trash.

Currently, Lee Co. Waste Manage-ment burns household, non-hazardous trash. In that process nonrecyclable glass and ceramics becomes sandy ash and is disposed with all resulting ash into landfill. According to Waste Management burning reduces trash volume by 9 percent, metals are reclaimed, and ash is more inert than trash.

Light bulbs are accepted in several ways:

1. Incandescent bulbs go in trash. Includes tree lights/no LED. Strands and bulbs can go to All Scrap (Pine Island) or in trash.

2. Florescent bulbs (and halogen) go to Hazardous Waste at Topaz Ct. (they contain mercury)

L.E.D.s Still researching this one. Probably Hazardous Waste!



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